The “golden visas” that Jared Kushner’s relatives allegedly offered Chinese investors could soon be the proverbial albatross around the Kushner family’s necks. Kushner Companies was involved in a controversial investment-for-immigration program, in which investors were promised green cards if they invested $500,000 in certain Kushner family properties. Now the family running the company have been issued subpoenas. Though they claim Jared Kushner himself was not involved in the deal, the Kushner family’s proximity to the Trumps and Jared’s continued financial interest in the properties (marketed to the Chinese investors) present conflicts of interest and are now under investigation.
The investment-for-immigration program, known as EB-5, is itself legitimate when used correctly. The Kushner family insist they followed it to the letter, but some critics say not in the spirit in which the law was intended. Rather than enhancing poorer parts of the country with an influx of foreign cash, the Kushners are shoring up their real estate empire in Jersey City. Also of concern is that the press was banned from the meeting in which the Kushners presented the properties — and the EB-5 visa package sweetening the deal — to the Chinese investors. But the real kicker is that Jared Kushner’s sister, Nicole Meyer, allegedly included references to both her brother and President Trump in her presentation.
If she did indeed try to emphasize, subtly or not-so-subtly, that the investment included buying into the Trump family’s favor, that’s exactly the kind of massive conflict of interest watchdogs and ethicists have been warning about since President Trump took office. As long as he continues to profit from his businesses, even if he is no longer overseeing their day-to-day operations, and as long as foreign nationals feel they could buy their way into Trump’s good graces one golf game, hotel stay, or licensing deal at a time, that presents issues.
Kushner Companies issued a statement reading: “Ms. Meyer wanted to make clear that her brother had stepped away from the company in January and has nothing to do with this project. Kushner Companies apologizes if that mention of her brother was in any way interpreted as an attempt to lure investors. That was not Ms. Meyer’s intention.” It also canceled further iterations of the presentation to more Chinese investors.
(Via Wall Street Journal)